• Kyodo


A North Korean ship left an Okinawa port Sunday, 14 days after being detained when defects were found during an inspection, the Japan Coast Guard said.

The departure came after the regional bureau of the Cabinet Office gave the go-ahead Friday for the 1,499-ton Rungrado to leave Nakagusuku Bay in the eastern part of Okinawa Island after it confirmed the ship had rectified the problems.

The Rungrado entered the port Sept. 28 and was to leave Oct. 1 with a cargo that included used cars.

But special port state control inspections conducted by the Okinawa General Bureau found 33 defects, including a malfunction in the engine fuel leak alarm.

The ship did not depart Friday due to rough seas.

The stringent inspection of the Rungrado followed similar inspections carried out earlier this year in Niigata on the Mangyongbang-92, a North Korean ferry that has sparked controversy due to allegations it has been used for espionage, illicit trading and other illegal activities.

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